Wilson will wait until at least Thursday to consider quarterback decision, floats idea of using multiple QB’s

Indiana coach Kevin Wilson appears to not be much closer to picking a starting quarterback than he was at the camp’s beginning. Wilson said Tuesday that quarterbacks Tre Roberson, Nate Sudfeld and Cameron Coffman remain mostly even, and that the IU coaching staff will wait until at least Thursday to consider naming a starter and may not name one then.

“Statistically I guess they’re all about the same,” Wilson said after practice Tuesday. “We’ll talk about it after Thursday, we’ll talk about it Friday and move forward next week. … Somebody’s gonna go out there first. They’re all doing well. We’re not trying to be coy, it’s not like it’s a different offense (with any one of the three), we’re not trying to surprise no one. We’re not trying to motivate anybody. They’re all kind of fighting pretty good. It’s kind of a close call. They’re all solid players. They’re all close teammates. They all gotta be better too, though. We talked about it yesterday, ‘Should we go ahead and maybe start going in one direction?’ I said, let’s just go through Thursday and make sure the direction we want to go in is good.”

Wilson said all three players are getting significant reps and all of them have enough leadership standing that it won’t hurt the Hoosiers much not to establish who is in charge of the offense. Wilson said the option of using multiple quarterbacks remains on the table.

“It could be because they all have different strengths,” Wilson said. “We’re running Cam, we’re running Nate more, we’re making Tre throw more. But naturally Tre can make some more plays with his feet more smoother. Those other guys are probably a little more on target, better percentage throwers. … We’re not sitting down and just hashing the quarterback deal out because it’s not a negative. We’ll go through Thursday. There won’t be a formal big parade announcement deal, we’ll just talk about it Friday. I don’t know if we’ll announce it Friday or Saturday, but it’s not trying to jack with Indiana State or anybody else. We’re going to do what we do and see if we can do it better.”

20 comments

  1. I always cringe when I hear a football coach suggest that he may use multiple Quarterbacks. Not a good idea unless you’re winning or losing in a blowout. It takes time and a lot of reps in competition for a quarterback and the other members of the offense to develop a rhythm. And its in the those close games, when the outcome is in question, where that rhythm becomes critical. Who am I to question an offensive genius like CKW, but I hope he names a starter and abandons the idea of interchanging his QBs. If IU is beating ISU in a route, then he can give the #2 and #3 QBs significant reps, but otherwise, I hope he picks one and stays with him until the game is well in hand.

  2. So very true Podunker, multiple QB’s will kill an offense’s rhythm, we’ve seen it play out in numerous FBS programs over the years and it’s never ended well. I think CKW is evaluating each guys game management. Who’s staring down his WRs, Who will force passes down field or into tight coverage, who will get happy feet in the pocket and misread a defense or take off.
    When you handle the ball on every offense play you have to make good decisions in order to give your team a chance.
    I think either of these guys can be successful in this offense. I believe CKW wants his starter to consistently make great in-game adjustments and he may not be satisfied at this point. All that being said, I think he will name a starter by the end of the week. Go Hoosiers!

  3. I remember thinking lat year, after watching Northwestern dismantle us with their two qb’s and seeing how intelligently used them, that it as potentially one of the moat dangerous and intelligent uses of talent I had ever seen. Couldn’t imagine the difficulty a defense would have preparing or defending against that many options all of which could be disguised to look the same. You can play with 2qb’s (even3), or 3 rb/wr from the backfield…all at the same time. You can spread them or line them up traditionally, or even have one qb lined up where a punter lines up with qb’s on each side and wide receivers all over the place.

    The possibilities are many, confusing (therefore great) and a great mind can fine many ways to threaten landing on the northwest beaches, to get the Germans to race their defenses there while we attack Normandy.

    But, the point in this place is that we have excellent talent available to do a myriad of things for what is obviously a great football mind. Therefore, I’ll leave the coaching to the Head Coach, Kevin Wilson who knows a hell of a lot more about this than I, or any other of my frustrated wannabe winner friends know about football. Wilson has shown creativity in strategy and a traditionally demanding philosophy of hard work that seems to have the team convinced it can compete nose to nose in the BigTen (B1C).

    So…I’ll leave all of the coaching in his capable hand knowing he needs little if any help from our history of being Hoosier fans. We haven’t done that well with all of our tutoring of the past 10-12 coaching staffs. the past, so we are at a point where our humility as fans may pay off.

    One recommendation, given with gratitude to Hoosier Clarion for pointing it out. If you have any doubt, listen to the radio interview with Wilson pointed out by HC. It will comfort you. I repeat the link below:

    indianapublicmedia.org/profiles/coach-kevin-wilson

  4. No problem Tsao. I have a correction to make as well. I typed my comment prior to watching the video, so I feel pretty silly saying I think CKW will make a decision by the end of the week when he said as much during the interview.

    Carry on folks.

  5. Ya, that multiple QB idea damn near sank NW season last year. Only 10-3 and a big bowl. Could be the possibility this plays out through the ISU game and makes the Midshipmen prepare for all 3 QB’s.

  6. One thing to keep in mind here. If Roberson doesn’t win the starting job flat out, I would expect to see him on the field in some capacity beyond quarterback, but I would not expect to see him at a position such as tailback or wide receiver with the same frequency as Kain Colter did for Northwestern last season. Remember, Colter was a starter at receiver for the Wildcats the year before. Roberson has not yet played another spot for IU. I believe he can be used there for a gimmick (and they obviously haven’t done any of this in practice when we’ve been around) but also think if you inserted Roberson into the wide receiver competition he’d finish no higher than fifth and no higher than third or fourth in the tailback competition. Again, not saying he won’t win the job and not saying he won’t be used if he doesn’t. Just saying, don’t expect to see the Northwestern model to be followed to a T.

  7. I salute Northwestern’s success last year, especially using two QBs. But clearly Northwestern was the exception, not only when compared to other programs that have tried to use multiple QBs, but to Northwestern’s own history. And there was a world of difference between the maturity of last year’s Northwestern football program and last year’s IU football program. When a program evolves to the point where the majority of starters are Juniors, Seniors and fifth-year seniors, you can do a lot of things that just don’t work when the majority of your starters are freshman, redshirt freshman and sophomores. There’s no substitute for experience.

    But if you want to site other examples of successful programs that used multiple QBs, you could also site Florida, when Tim Tebow was a freshman in 2006. In both cases, the term “quarterback” is a bit of a misnomer. As a freshman at Florida, Tebow took snaps from center, but he was primarily used as a running back that had the potential to throw a pass. That year, he ran the ball 89 times while attempting only 33 passes. Presenting the threat to pass created problems for defenses and made it easier for him to rush for big yards. And when he read the defenses pulling up in the box to stop the run, it created opportunities for easy play-action passes that often went for big gains.

    If a team can surround it QBs with mature and experienced talent, like Northwestern was last year and Florida was in 2006, a two-quarterback system can work. But IU is not there yet, and I fear that experimenting with two or three QBs early in the season will be costly when the rhythm between a QB and his teammates is essential for winning close games in Big Ten competition.

  8. Dustin, I think a lot more of Roberson than you obvious do. The man has already shown a lot of qualities, athletically and character wise. I do think he will remain at qb and do think that CKW has a good idea of the key role he will play in our offense. I also think he will be very successful and I trust CKW will find many and diverse ways to use his talents.

    I don’t understand why the negativity about his prospects. All reports I’ve read seem to point out his adaptability (to what CKW wants from a qb), his willingness to accept coaching to improve his passing technique and maximize his talents and his leadership (obvious last year and critical this year). Given his unexpected winning of the position over two (fairly acclaimed) returning qb’s last year, the fact that he moved the offense quite well before getting hurt, the acceptance and support he appears to have from his team mates, and the admiration he has won in general about TR for coming back and preparing to compete this year, I prefer to be much more positive about his role and his contributions under any circumstances; but, I am glad- very glad- Tre Roberson is a Hoosier.

    I think it is better to report on TR for what he is and has shown he can do. I also have a lot of faith that CKW is aware of his talent and potential. If I recall, he did a reasonable ob of that at Oklahoma, Northwestern and Miami (O). Thus, for the time being, I do not think it necessary to speculate on whether TR has the body to play offensive tackle.

  9. Podunker, I’ve wondered a long time about the need to look ‘outside the box’ to address the future in football programs like IU (and, looking at Northwestern as a model that says ‘it can be done’. One thing I do believe, we (IU) are not going to out Ohio State,… Ohio State. In essence, I’m looking forward to a sound football mind like CKW occupying ‘creative’ (and fundamentally sound) spaces in the B1G.

    Yes, your example of Florida is excellent. Thanks for bringing it up. I do believe multidimensional players create big and strange problems for coaches who have looked at the same formations, sets and personnel for 15-20 years. A good example is the former coach at Texas Tech (now at Washington State). Reading some of his ideas and some (other) coaches analysis/critique of his assumptions and strategies was not only entertaining, it changed how I think about football. (If you are interested google him and some of the commentary- especially the serious clinic stuff- on Oklahoma’s offense while CKW was there).

  10. Podunker- Oops, mentioned him but failed to include his name in a brain freeze…Mike Leach, the former Texas Tech coach, now at Washington State.

  11. Just want to say thanks to the Scoop and all you contributors for bringing me back to college football. I’d only followed it nominally since I left Bloomington in 2001 (when I had daily access to the HT sports section) and haven’t much cared for it since. Call it SEC fatigue, or that fantasy football dramatically enhanced my pro football experience, or that since I could only (occasionally) justify homesteading on the couch one football day per weekend and I chose the Colts and the NFL on Sundays, or that I tracked the Hoosiers every Saturday and watched games when i could only to be let down more often than not, or that I was out of the country for a good portion of that time. Call it whatever you want.

    My point is, I’m interested again. I found the Scoop, and you made college football personal once more. Reading the daily reports and write ups and opinions– and the enthusiasm of a fan base I quite frankly wasn’t sure was still there– brings it all back. At the risk of sounding like a fair weather fan, for the first time in a long while I’m very excited about the college season. And our football Hoosiers. So thank you.

  12. Tsao,
    You could put it that way, or you could also say that I have a much higher opinion of Cody Latimer, Shane Wynn, Kofi Hughes, Duwyce Wilson, Tevin Coleman and Stephen Houston and possibly Laray Smith and D’Angelo Roberts than you obviously do. Roberson is a very good athlete, but he’s not a better receiver than those four and he’s not a better tailback than at least Coleman and Houston and possibly any of the four running backs. He’s never played their positions, and those guys are very good. I didn’t say he won’t play those positions at all, because I believe he will be used on some level and he can play them for the purpose of having a second quarterback in the game for decoy purposes. But I don’t think he’d beat out any of those guys in a straight-up competition for their positions because they are very good at their positions and they have played those positions their entire lives. Kain Colter was Northwestern’s best all-around athlete last year and the only skill position player that was definitively better than him at his position was Venric Mark. He was easily one of the best wide receivers they had and he had experience playing that position as a sophomore. Roberson doesn’t have that experience and he has arguably the best receiving corps in the Big Ten to contend with. Again, like I said, I think he will play their some if there is a dueling quarterback scenario, but unlike with Colter, I don’t think he’ll be on the field every snap if he doesn’t win the starting job outright.

  13. So Dustin, #13 is the last word on it, right? That’s one way to establish a dialogue, one-sided as it may be.

  14. I’m not even sure what exactly we’re arguing about at this point, so I must have miscommunicated something.
    In addressing the possibility of a two quarterback system, I said that I think it’s unlikely that if there were to be a two-quarterback system that it would operate like the Northwestern system because Roberson would not be used like Northwestern used Kain Colter. I can see him on the field with Cameron Coffman or Nate Sudfeld, but I don’t think he’ll be used to the same degree that Colter was because I think IU has better wide receivers than Northwestern did and IU also has several talented tailbacks. Considering that the two quarterback system is the topic of this thread, I’m not sure why it’s inappropriate to make informed predictions about how that might work. I certainly don’t have anything bad to say about Tre Roberson’s character and he’s certainly a good athlete, but there’s obviously a possibility that he won’t win the starting job and how he will be used if he doesn’t is an interesting question.

  15. Tsao… Post #15 seems like a very strange comment. Do you have something to add? A counterpoint? A disagreement? An uncovered nugget?

    If you don’t then I suppose DD’s is the last word.

    If you want to continue the dialogue all you have to do is write another comment and #13 ceases to be the last word.

  16. The Colter-Siemian combo at NU might indeed be a “model” for IU. Roberson starts at QB on some plays but on others he slides to the slot while Coff or Sud takes the snap. Receivers go long to spread the field- if Coff or Sud has to hit the safety valve Roberson in the flat, then Tre or throws. Could put a lot of pressure on defenses (not to mention a lot of fun to watch.)

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